Nellis AFB

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Last Validated oct-2010
City Las Vegas, NV
Position 36°14'09"N 115°02'04"W
Runway(s) 03L/21R, 03R/21L
Elevation 1868 ft


One of the places any aviation enthusiast must have visited once in his lifetime is Nellis Air Force Base in the middle of the desert in Nevada. This airbase is most famous of his large, multi-national 'Red-Flag- exercises' which is held 2-3 times a year. Of course , the most special aircraft based at this airbase are the spectacular painted Aggressor-aircraft and the F-22A Raptors. The base is packed with aircraft and at times of a Red Flag exercise it is even worse. We can recommend to have a look at google earth and zoom into the base. (Press the back button and zoom in on the overview map. Then click the "satellite button".

Getting There

Nellis AFB is located northeast of Las Vegas, NV. directly along the S-604 (N Las Vegas Blvd.), just near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Follow the I-15, direction Mesquite and take exit 'Speedway'. Continue following the Speedway Blvd till you've reached the S-604. On the opposite side of the S-604 is the airbase located. Important is that you should stay at all times away from the fence to avoid problems with the security-forces and will be send away.

Around the Airport

1Landing runway 21 (1)

The land underneath the landing is recently fenced off. Now you can view/photograph the landing aircraft from a spot along the N.Las Vegas Blvd (S-604). It is located just near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Checkered Flag Ln). For photos, this spot is mainly suitable during the (late) afternoon (2pm+).

2Landing runway 21 (2)

For photos, this spot is (like spot 1) mainly suitable during the (late) afternoon (2pm+) and could be found somewhat down the road (south) found at the intersection of N Hollywood Blvd and N.Las Vegas Blvd (S-604)


This is spot is at a crash gate along the S-604. From this crash gate, you can see the HH-60's perfectly. It's even possible to photograph them. Keep in mind that you really don't stay here too long otherwise you will certainly get security problems. If you coming from spot 2 or 3 you should drive in the direction of the city. The first crash gate on your left is the one.

4Landing runway 03R (1)

This spot is located in a public park (Nellis Meadows Park). Photos are only possible for aircraft landing at runway 03R. Aircraft landing at 3L will pass straight over your head. An advantage of this spot is there are some trees that will bring you a welcome shadow during the mostly hot days. The park is located along E Cheyenne Ave, just behind the gas station on the city-side of Nellis Blvd. At the entry of the park in also a parking lot located.

5Runway 03L/R

From the I-15, take exit 45 to enter the S-147 (E Lake Mead Blvd) (direction Sunrise Manor). After a while at the S-147 , you should take left at the 7th large intersection to get on the S-612 (N Nellis Blvd). Just before the golf course (on your right) you should take a right (E Cheyenne Av.) This part of the road is underneath the landing of runway 03L/R. Follow the road till you have a good view of the landing. The view towards the air base is mainly blocked by a wall.

6Landing runway 03R (2)

This is a spot where pictures can be taken for landings on runway 03R in the early morning. It is at a turning circle at the East end of Alto Ave, in the same trading estate as Cheyenne is to be found. In practice, many of the aircraft are turning above you so you are looking almost straight up at them.

7Reading Serials (1)

This spot is one of the locations to get all your serials, together with spot 8, 9 and 10. This spot is on Alto Ave, across Windy Butte.

8Reading Serials (2)

This spot is located on the corner of Shatz St and Cecile Ave. From here, you can read the serials of Aggressor F-15s from, even inside the barns.

9Reading Serials (3)

For the number crunchers we recommend the spot which is best very early in the morning. From here you will have an overview of the base and be able to read the serials on the ramp with a good mono or binocular (at sunrise). The road going further north is closed but you can turn left after the last house on your left. To get here from the S-604, take the N Nellis Blvd (S-612) southbound. Continue on the road till you're arrive at the intersection with the E Lake Mead Blvd (S-147) and go left. Follow this road till you can turn left onto the N Hollywood Blvd. This road brings you at the spot. It is just around the corner of spot 8. The only problem with this spot is that you have a lot of unwelcome security interest while being there.

10Reading Serials (4)

This spot is located at the hill to the East off Hollywood Blvd. At Alto Ave, which goes to the houses on the left, go up the hill instead to the right. Here, Alto Ave will become Los Feliz St. You will get a view over all the houses but you need a good 60x telescope to read the serials and even the small commander's numbers.

F-15C (83-0027/WA) taken from spot 5 with 400mm digital. (Robert Verbrugge)

F-22A (00-4012/OT) taken at spot 1 with 420mm analog. (Pieter van Polanen)


289.400 / 120.900Clearance Delivery
275.800 / 121.800Ground
327.000 / 132.550Tower
385.400 / 135.100Arrival/departure
377.175 / 273.550Arrival / departure
291.725 / 118.125Approach

Based Operators

422nd TESA-10C, F-15C/D/E, F-16CM/DM, F-22A, HH-60G
16th WPSF-16CM/DM
17th WPSF-15E
34th WPSHH-60G
64th AGRSF-16C/D
65th AGRSF-15C/D
66th WPSA-10C
433rd WPSF-15C/D, F-22A
66th RQSHH-60G
ADSF-16CM/DM (Thunderbirds)

More Info

Nellis AFBOfficial website
ThunderbirdsOfficial website

Other Airfields

Las Vegas - McCarran Intl   subscribers only
Nellis AFB

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